Hollie Point

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Hollie point, or Holy point, is an English needle lace noted for its use in baby clothes, particularly in the 18th century.

Hollie point is a flat needlepoint lace whose name derives either from lace made for religious purposes (holy work) or from the holes that create the pattern.[1] It is made up of rows of twisted buttonhole stitches worked over horizontal threads. At the end of each row, the stitching returns back to the starting pint, creating the next horizontal thread.[2] Simple pinprick designs are created by leaving gaps, or holes, in the otherwise plain cloth work formed by the buttonhole stitches.[3]

Hollie point has always been more or a domestic, rather than a professional, art.[1] Hollie point was used primarily on baby clothes in the 18th and early 19th century, especially, christening sets. The lace was stitched in the crown of baby bonnets, or caps, and sometimes on a band that extended from the centre front of the cap to the nape of the neck. The shoulder seams of small shirts were decorated with initials, dates, and mottoes.[2] Lace designs included religious motifs such as lilies of the annunciation, Tree of life, Star of Bethlehem, dove of peace, and Crown of Glory.[3]

Earlier mentions of similarly-named laces, such as collars of "hollie work" that were listed in an inventory of Mary Queen of Scots, are thought to refer to other types of needlework that were done as "holy work".[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Hollie Point". Textile Research Center. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b Head, R. E. (1922). The Lace & Embroidery Collector: A Guide to Collectors of Old Lace and Embroidery. Dodd, Mead. pp. 87–89.
  3. ^ a b Earnshaw, Pat (1999). A Dictionary of Lace. Courier Corporation. pp. 80–. ISBN 978-0-486-40482-0.

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